2018 EDSIGCON Proceedings - Abstract Presentation
Building and Launching a Student-run I.T. Consulting Venture
It has been previously researched, practiced, and promoted that information systems (I.S.) programs produce more prepared graduates when they are engaged in hands-on learning opportunities (Abassi & King, 2007). Furthermore, research also supports the engagement of external clients and real-world projects (Connelly & Begg, 2006). Even though real-world projects add value to the external client, there isn’t always a support mechanism in place to fix defects, make feature enhancements, or support the deliverable. In addition, real-world projects are typically bound by the academic calendar, which the real-world does not adhere to normally (Podeschi, 2016). The following work-in-progress represents the journey over the last three years to build a student-run, entrepreneurship-infused, technology consulting business model and venture, whereby students work on the business and in the business, concurrently, to to support previous real-world projects from the classroom and seek additional client work.
While entrepreneurship can often be found integrated into the business school, there is little evidence to suggest that it is being infused into I.S. and engineering fields (Pardede, 2015). However, I.S. programs within the business school are prime candidates for this marriage between I.S. and entrepreneurship. Students, through this for-credit experience, identify potential clients, enumerate requirements, provide estimates of work and cost, complete the work, and produce detailed documentation for knowledge transfer to the next group of students. Students utilize the Scrum agile methodology for organizing their work, are responsible for maintaining accounting records, and reporting to an alumni advisory board. To date, the student-run venture has generated over $10,000 in revenue. The venture is open to information systems as well as from other disciplines to foster cross-discipline collaboration. It has been cited that student-run venture experiences and collaboration outside of their disciplines helps students gain additional experience and increases their knowledge and confidence (Morris, et. al., 2013).
The proposed research study will survey the available literature associated with real-world projects in I.S., entrepreneurship in the I.S. discipline, and uses of Scrum in the classroom. The paper will also outline the process followed for creating a student-run technology venture, the keys to success, as well as potential pitfalls. Three years of student personal and team evaluation data exist that will be analyzed from both quantitative and qualitative measures to gauge the longitudinal effectiveness and outcomes of the student-run venture. This research is an important contribution to the I.S. community as more opportunities for differentiation and hands-on learning become critical to the success of graduates from technical programs.
Abbassi, B. & King, R. (2007). The Development of a Teaching Strategy for Implementing a Real-World Business Project into Database Courses. Journal of Information Systems Education, 18(3), 337-343.
Connolly, T. & Begg, C. (2006). A Constructivist-Based Approach to Teaching Database Analysis and Design. Journal of Information Systems Education, 17(1), pp. 43–53.
Morris, M., Kuratko, D., & Cornwall, J. (2013). Entrepreneurship Programs and the Modern University. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.
Pardede, E. (2015). The use of modern pedagogical techniques when introducing information technology students to entrepreneurship. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(6), 636-651.
Podeschi, R. (2016). Building I.S. Professionals through a Real-World Client Project in a Database Application Development Course. Information Systems Education Journal, 14(6), pp. 34-40.
Recommended Citation: Podeschi, R., (2018). Building and Launching a Student-run I.T. Consulting Venture. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2018) n.4782, Norfolk, Virginia